Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Letters

Article excerpt

Offshore fish farming needs to be reeled in

There is now little doubt that the world's fisheries are in crisis, and many are making the case that farming fish offers the solution to meeting growing seafood consumer demand. As coastal fish farming's impacts become a widespread concern, more interest has focused on the development of offshore aquaculture facilities like the one featured in your Oct. 29 article "Fishing for a solution."

Farming mollusks demonstrates the most promise, as does cultivating primarily vegetarian fish that feed low on the food chain, such as catfish. But most of the fish species being pursued for commercial production in salt water are carnivores, such as salmon, and farmed in net pens. Unfortunately, this type of fish farming exports problems to the surrounding environment, such as discharge of untreated wastes, use of chemicals and antibiotics, displacement of and harmful genetic interactions with wild fish, transfer of parasites and disease, and the use of large amounts of wild fish for feed.

Moving fish farming farther offshore only removes the issues from the public eye and away from scrutiny. Before offshore fish farming progresses, we need to develop strong regulatory frameworks and ensure public participation in decisionmaking regarding private use of the oceans, a public resource entrusted to the government for all.

As a relatively new industry in the US, aquaculture can be steered in a sustainable direction with close attention paid to species and site selection, containment of fish, use of chemicals, and other environmental impacts. Aquaculture is necessary, but it must be conducted in a responsible way. Bill Mott Providence, R.I.SeaWeb Aquaculture Clearinghouse

Manifest Destiny or manifest density?

Regarding your Oct. 29 editorial "Building Homes in Hot Spots": You state "If humans are going to live in tinderbox landscapes, they need to clear out the tinder to survive." The solution is not just in how you build your house, but where. If Americans weren't so driven by Manifest Destiny to eschew sensible urban planning, people would live in high-density centers (i. …

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